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jamiehall
08-21-2011, 11:18 PM
When substituting for honey in a recipe where honey's viscous characteristic is needed, what can be used? (This is for a recipe where no sweet taste is needed, so the substitute does not need to even have artificial sweeteners in it.)

I've been googling for it, and I just keep getting dry/granular sugar substitutes, instead of viscous-textured honey substitutes.

Every viscous substitute I've found, such as agave nectar, has sugars in it.

Is there even such a thing as a viscous sugar-free honey substitute?

BunnyMaz
08-21-2011, 11:43 PM
when has molasses ever been sugar free?

Alessandra Kelley
08-21-2011, 11:51 PM
Do you mean no sugar of any kind? Because of course corn syrup and all fruits have sugar in them. In most of the honey recipes I know of, the honey either liquefies or is incorporated into other ingredients. Do you need the sticky quality of honey?

I'm having difficulty imagining a recipe that calls for honey that doesn't have to be sweet.

Anne Lyle
08-22-2011, 12:01 AM
Egg white?

The problem is that viscosity requires certain chemical properties that, amongst edible substances, tends to be found mainly in sugars.

sunandshadow
08-22-2011, 01:03 AM
Gelatin or edible wax and thick cream/sour cream/cream cheese are substitutes I would consider, depending what the recipe is for. No-sugar-added apple sauce might be a possibility but it does naturally contain some sugar. Sugar free jellies could be used but not in a recipe which is going to be heated because high heat denatures artificial sweetener.

LBlankenship
08-22-2011, 01:06 AM
You can make something sticky and pasty (and makes a decent glue) from equal parts flour and water... and you can get it to act as a thickener, as in gravy, if you do it right.

blacbird
08-22-2011, 01:10 AM
Motor oil.

caw

rainsmom
08-22-2011, 01:21 AM
Applesauce?

frimble3
08-22-2011, 01:38 AM
When substituting for honey in a recipe where honey's viscous characteristic is needed, what can be used? (This is for a recipe where no sweet taste is needed, so the substitute does not need to even have artificial sweeteners in it.)

I've been googling for it, and I just keep getting dry/granular sugar substitutes, instead of viscous-textured honey substitutes.

Every viscous substitute I've found, such as agave nectar, has sugars in it.

Is there even such a thing as a viscous sugar-free honey substitute?
Glycerin? It's sweetish, but I don't know chemically, why. You say 'no sweet taste is needed', but is a little sweet taste an absolute no-no?
Would a heavy oil work?

jamiehall
08-22-2011, 03:09 AM
Do you mean no sugar of any kind? Because of course corn syrup and all fruits have sugar in them. In most of the honey recipes I know of, the honey either liquefies or is incorporated into other ingredients. Do you need the sticky quality of honey?

I'm having difficulty imagining a recipe that calls for honey that doesn't have to be sweet.

Small amounts of naturally-occurring fructose are okay, so I think applesauce would work if it were only stickier. But any fruit that has, for example, been concentrated into a syrup is out.

Yes, I very much need the sticky quality.

Thanks!

(Right now I'm leaning towards egg white and/or gelatin being the closest things I've found so far.)

JSDR
08-22-2011, 04:57 AM
I was going to say gelatin too. There's something called agar that they sell in asian markets. I think my mom used to use it as a thickener/stickyier.

Canotila
08-22-2011, 05:04 AM
Does it have to be edible? Or just a similar consistency? And what is the tech level of the people in your story? Those translucent gel toothpastes come to mind.

Cath
08-22-2011, 05:06 AM
Glycerin might suit your needs, it depends what you need it for.

boron
08-22-2011, 12:40 PM
Glycerin (glycerol) is classified as a carbohydrate. It has 75% sweetness of table sugar and provides about the same amount of calories (4 Calories/gram) as sugar. It is viscous, but not as much as honey. You can see its viscosity in the firts 10 seconds of this video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qjg5b5KA9SM). It is produced from animal or vegetable fats or it can be synthesized.

Gelatin is derived from animal proteins (collagen). It is available as a powder. Its viscosity depends on the type, concentration in water and temperature. It may be solid at room temperature or refrigerator temperature and it melts when heated. It has no taste. If you need something what actually flows at room temperature and is not sweet, this might be a good choice. Liquid gelatin, which is liquid at room temperature, is commercially available.

Pectin is a soluble fiber used in preparation of marmalades. It is available as a powder. When dissolved and heated, it is a viscous liquid, but it gels when cooled. It is not sweet.

Other: guar gum, carob gum, konjac gum, xanthan gum, gellan gum, agar-agar, alginate, which are used as gelling agents (food additives), but also available in a powder form. These are classified as nondigestible carbohydrates (dietary fiber); some of them may be sweet a bit.

Anne Lyle
08-22-2011, 12:46 PM
I'm now intrigued to know what the recipe is...

pdr
08-23-2011, 10:48 AM
seaweeds? Several of them make a sticky gooey gel substance and I think it's dulse and laver that have no flavour at all.

The Grift
08-23-2011, 08:01 PM
Agave nectar is not quite as viscous as honey, but may be something to look at.

Anne Lyle
08-23-2011, 08:58 PM
Agave nectar is not quite as viscous as honey, but may be something to look at.

Already mentioned - and rejected - by the OP. Agave nectar is a vegan alternative to honey and has plenty of sugar in it.

The Grift
08-23-2011, 11:03 PM
Already mentioned - and rejected - by the OP. Agave nectar is a vegan alternative to honey and has plenty of sugar in it.

I missed that.

How about tree sap? Other than maple, I think other saps have a fairly low sugar content, and generally they're safe to eat.

But also, what kind of sugar are we talking about here? There are several kinds.

jamiehall
08-25-2011, 02:35 AM
Thank you everyone for your replies. I'm thinking now that no-sugar-added peanut butter might do, as it is very sticky and low on sweetness.

blacbird
08-25-2011, 08:35 AM
This entire idea strikes me as similar to ice cream that isn't cold.

caw

The Grift
08-25-2011, 05:22 PM
You've never had astronaut ice cream?

http://www.thinkgeek.com/geektoys/science/9e07/

Pretty good, actually.